Native American Developmental Disabilities Needs Assessment

The Sonoran UCEDD, in conjunction with the Native American Research and Training Center (NARTC), performed a needs assessment of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) in the spring and summer of 2011 to explore their familiarity with and utilization of DD Network Program agencies, the availability of services and support for individuals with DD and their families in AIAN communities, and the needs of DD tribal members and their families.  The purpose of the project is to provide Commissioner Sharon Lewis, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), with a snapshot of the AI/AN experience with DD in selected Tribal and urban American Indian communities. 

The Project had access to Native American populations through its association with Native American researchers from NARTC at the University of Arizona.  Recognizing that there are 565 Federally-recognized AI/AN communities in the US, each with distinct cultural characteristics, language, government structures, and social and political issues, the needs assessment surveyed selected tribes in rural and urban areas (Seneca Nation, Nez Perce Nation, Midwest/Kansas, Tohono O’Odham Nation, and the Tucson and Greater Phoenix Metropolitan areas) as well as gathered information from a broad range of informants attending Native American conferences. In addition, all communities were chosen based on already existing relationships with NARTC fellows and staff.